Rapper calls out Coachella for not allowing his own photographer to shoot his performance

Apr 20, 2016

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

Rapper calls out Coachella for not allowing his own photographer to shoot his performance

Apr 20, 2016

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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Author’s note: The video posted in the article below contains both profanity and homophobic slurs. Consider this your warning.


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Tyler Gregory Okonma, an American rapper better known as Tyler, The Creator, has a history full of controversy. While many of his past troubles are due to the lyrics in his music, it’s photography, not songwriting, that’s fueling his latest controversy.

While on stage at Coachella, a music and arts festival held in Indio, California, Tyler ripped to shreds Coachella and its founder Paul Tollett for not allowing him and his Odd Future hip hop collective to use their own photographers during his performance.

In the below video, which is laced with profanity and homophobic slurs, Tyler calls out Coachella and its founder for creating an essential monopoly on photography rights by not allowing his team to shoot video of his performance.

I spent a few hours browsing through various resources looking for exact specifications on what Coachella’s rules are for getting photography access to the concerts, but nothing specific came up other than the need for a general press pass.

According to photographer John Micelles, this press pass gets photographers access to ‘the pit’ for the first three songs of any performers set. Once those three songs are finished, photographers must be out–no exceptions. Nothing was mentioned about artists having their own photographers on stage, which only makes this particular situation more interesting.

I’ve reached out to Coachella for comment on the situation and will be sure to post an update if any response is given.


Image credits: Tyler, The Creator by OJ San Felipe used under CC BY 2.0

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Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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